What is a heart bypass surgery?
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What is a heart bypass surgery?
The coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, or more commonly known as a heart bypass surgery, is performed when the arteries become blocked or damaged. Healthy blood vessels from another body part are taken and used to reroute blood flow to the heart.
Your doctor may recommend a heart bypass surgery if other less-invasive procedures would not work or are not suitable for your case.
The type of bypass surgery that your doctor will use will depend on the number of blocked arteries. The more blocked arteries, the longer and more complex the procedure is as well.
Who may benefit from a heart bypass surgery?
A team of doctors will determine and let you know if you need a heart bypass surgery.
Existing medical conditions, such as diabetes and kidney issues, may cause complications to the surgery. It is important to discuss your medical history with your doctor.
When blood flow to the heart is restricted, it can result in heart failure. The more your arteries are blocked, the higher your risk for a heart attack. Your doctor may plan the surgery or perform it as an emergency.
In some instances, patients can manage with medications and other less invasive treatments. Otherwise, the heart bypass surgery will be necessary.
What can you expect from the surgery?
Before your surgery, you will need to stop taking drugs that contain aspirin. Smoking should also be avoided as soon as possible. This habit may impede recovery.
You will also need to make transportation arrangements. Your medical team will provide you with instructions that you need for a safe and smooth-sailing operation. You will also be informed if you require blood donations for the surgery.
You will be undergoing several exams before the surgery. Fluids and medicines will be administered to you intravenously or through needles. You will be put into a deep sleep during the procedure.
The surgery usually lasts between 3 to 6 hours. The duration will depend case by case on its severity. After the operation, your response and recovery will first be monitored before your doctors discharge you.
How long is the recovery period?
You may remain in the hospital for about a week after your surgery. A tube will be inserted into your throat to help you breathe. Once this tube has been removed, you may be able to start eating.
You may experience soreness and coughing due to the likely presence of fluid in your lungs. Your medical team will be checking on you and coordinating closely with your family to help you recover faster.
What is the success rate for heart bypass surgery?
The operation is invasive but relatively safe. The more complex your case, the higher the risk of complications. But in general, the mortality rate of heart bypass surgery is low.
While blood flow to your heart will be improved after successful surgery, you will still be at risk of heart disease. To keep your heart in good condition, you need to continue taking medication as directed by your doctor and lead a healthy lifestyle.
What happens after the operation?
After the operation, you may experience complications. Let your doctor know if you feel anything unusual. The body part where the vein was taken may be put on an elastic support. Be cautious when moving it.
You will also need to avoid lifting or pushing heavy objects to allow your breastbone to heal properly. Most important, maintain a healthy diet that consists of fruits and vegetables. Saturated fats are best avoided.
Should everything go smooth-sailing, you may soon slowly return to living your daily life.